12 Signs Of Insecure Women And How To Deal With Them

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Insecurity in relationships is not necessarily uncommon or frightening, in fact, it comes up more often than you think. Having a few bouts of insecurity here and there is completely normal. But when insecurity becomes persistent and unabating, it can hamper every aspect of life. Its effects are most pronounced in one’s intimate relationship. Insecure women, for instance, can be so consumed by the worry of not being good enough and the fear of being abandoned that they never truly learn to let go and relax.

This can trigger a whole host of problematic behavior problems that impede their ability to form and sustain healthy relationships. As their partner, you may often find yourself lamenting, “I can feel my girlfriend’s insecurities ruining our relationship” or “My wife’s insecurities are draining our relationship”. Apart from emotional and social repercussions, deep-seated insecurities can also trigger psychosomatic issues such as migraines and diabetes.

Given its vast impact, it’s important to understand what makes a woman insecure in a relationship or in life, how to spot the signs of an insecure woman, and how to deal with one. We’re here to help you gain that clarity in consultation with counseling psychologist Kavita Panyam (Masters in Psychology and international affiliate with the American Psychological Association), who has been helping couples work through their relationship issues for over two decades

What Causes Insecurity In A Woman?

An insecure woman in a relationship may have a hard time navigating unpleasant thoughts and emotions such as jealousy and trust issues. If left unaddressed, it can snowball into bigger problems such as eating disorders. All in all, excessive insecurity can seriously compromise a person’s quality of life.

Speaking about what does insecure mean for a girl, Kavita says, “Not only can too much insecurity in a woman lead to social maladaptation, but also lead to trust issues. Insecure women might constantly feel someone is trying to exploit them. This can reduce the quality of life to 1/4th of its optimum contentment capacity.”

If you think the woman in your life displays the signs of an insecure girlfriend/partner/spouse and you want to figure out how to help her break this pattern and steer the relationship toward the healthy, wholesome territory, you need to understand what makes a woman insecure in a relationship, or in life.

Your fears about the dangers of dating an insecure woman will be alleviated to a large extent if you have an insight into where her behavior is stemming from and the female insecurity psychology. To that end, here are some underlying reasons that can trigger female insecurities:

Related Reading: 5 Things Men Do To Make Women Feel Insecure

1. Unrealistic social standards

“Why are women so insecure?” “Why is she insecure when I have given her no reason to doubt my love and commitment toward her?” “What does it mean when a girl is insecure?” If questions like these are what brought you here, know that her underlying fears likely long predate your relationship. Exacting social standards and pressure is what causes insecurity in a woman.

In society, a lot more is expected from women than men, so it is no surprise that there are more insecure women than insecure men out there. Women are under constant pressure to live up to certain fitness and beauty standards, cater to the needs to their loved ones, and also excel in their careers. These pressures can contribute to a negative self-image, self-doubt, and a tremendous amount of anxiety that can be difficult to cope with.

Being constantly bombarded with “ideal” look, body weight, and beauty standards can take a toll on anyone’s self-image. “The foremost cause of insecurity in a woman is her looks — her physique, complexion, voice, and the way she carries herself and how these things are received by the external world. And if they are scrutinized negatively by her family, it’s bound to pile on a lot of emotional baggage,” says Kavita. As a result, an insecure woman in a relationship can be extremely concerned with her physical appearance and need constant validation and compliments from her significant other.

2. Heartbreak from previous relationships

You may notice signs of insecurity in a woman in relationships if she has been hurt tremendously in the past. This is especially true if her trust has been betrayed and she has been cheated on or been in a string of abusive relationships. It can make her question her own stake in that relationship. She might blame herself and this can trigger self-esteem issues that can impact her future relationships.

A woman will become insecure in a relationship when she constantly worries about a man leaving her again or betraying her trust. “If she has internalized the guilt of a former partner’s infidelity, it can make her question her self-worth,” says Kavita. She may not feel good enough for anyone and may agonize over why someone would choose to be with her. This thought pattern feeds the belief that no partner will stay with her for the long haul, which can, in turn, make her latent insecurities stronger.

3. A misstep or failure

dating an insecure woman
Past experiences can fuel feelings of insecurity

The female insecurity psychology can be rooted in past mistakes or missteps that make her shudder or keep her awake at night. Whether it is a mistake that impacted her career adversely, past life choices whose repercussions she’s had to deal with, or choosing a partner who didn’t turn out to be who she thought them to be can wreck a person’s self-confidence and leave them feeling insecure about the future and scared of the unknown.

Excessive judgment about these life experiences can further worsen insecurity in a woman. Women who undergo this may worry constantly about making big life decisions and be afraid of failure at every step of the way. This makes them not only question their decisions but also incites a fear in them that they can never do anything right.

4. Toxic parenting or childhood experiences

If you pay close attention to the signs of insecure people and where they stem from, you may notice that these can often be traced back to one’s childhood experiences. Being raised by toxic parents who set unrealistically high standards, offered love based on achievement, were emotionally distant, or abusive in some form can leave a person riddled with psychological and emotional issues, insecurity being one of them.

An insecure girl is one who has perhaps gone through a lot of trauma experiences as a child. Those childhood wounds continue to influence her personality as an adult. This becomes a cycle and only further deepens the trenches of insecurity and dissatisfaction with oneself.

So, if the question “Why is she insecure” has been on your mind, we hope you’ve found a relatable reason in the causes listed above. Now, let’s talk about the signs of an insecure girlfriend/partner and the best way to deal with her. After all, it’s only with well-rounded insights and information that you can be better equipped to handle the dangers of dating an insecure woman.

12 Signs Of An Insecure Woman

Insecure meaning in relationship can be different for different people. Some lack of personal space can mean they’re in a relationship with an insecure person, for others, it can be controlling behavior or constant negative self-talk. If you look closely, you’ll realize that these are all signs of insecurity — just that they may manifest in varying intensities, depending on the unique circumstances, personalities, and triggers of the people involved.

To be able to identify what it is that you’re dealing with, you need an exhaustive list of female insecurities and how they manifest in relationships. Are you always walking on eggshells around your partner? Is she always overly critical of everything you do, leaving you grappling with low self-confidence and feelings of inadequacy? Do you feel uncomfortable being your real self with your partner? Yes, yes, and yes?

Well, it isn’t hard to see that you’re not in a healthy relationship. But how do you know that this toxicity is stemming from your partner’s insecurity? Paying attention to the following signs of an insecure woman and how they manifest in intimate relationships can help you gain some clarity:

1. Jealousy is a defining trait of insecure women

An insecure woman is also one who feels jealous really easily. A normal amount of jealousy is understandable and perhaps even inevitable in romantic relationships. However, when this emotion becomes unhinged, it can create an extremely toxic environment. An insecure woman who gets jealous easily may display extremely controlling behavior such as,

  • Dictating who you can and cannot socialize with
  • Checking your phone consistently
  • Not giving you any personal space
  • Becoming excessively clingy

Jealousy issues in a relationship are among the most common dangers of dating an insecure woman and can irreparable damage that can threaten your future as a couple.

2. Being a control freak

Since an insecure woman struggles with negative thoughts about her inadequacies and fears that her life will fall apart with a single misstep, she needs to be in control of every perceivable aspect of her life. That, obviously, includes her romantic partner. As a result,

  • She might constantly try to dictate terms to her partner
  • Force her decisions on them
  • Micromanage every detail of her partner’s life
  • Constantly nag them

She will weave herself into every aspect of her partner’s life and prove to be pretty emasculating. This is one of the many ways an insecure partner drains a relationship. ‘’The moment she feels like she is losing control, her reactions can be hugely disproportionate to the situation. For example, if an insecure woman’s husband comes home late one night, she might become very agitated and violent,’’ says Kavita.

3. An insecure girl will get easily offended or hurt

dangers of dating an insecure woman
An insecure woman is overly sensitive to criticism

What does it mean when a girl is insecure? That she hasn’t learned the art of self-assurance to feel confident about who she is. That’s why one of the most obvious signs of insecurity is that she is easily hurt by other’s words or actions. Women who are secure and self-aware aren’t unnerved by a little criticism. However, an insecure woman lacks that confidence. A little harmless banter or a playful joke may incite negative feelings in her or make her spiral into feelings of self-doubt or even self-hate.

4. In constant need of compliments

A woman insecure in a relationship will constantly need validation from her partner. To be able to believe that her partner loves her, she will demand that he express and show it to her often. One of the telltale signs of an insecure girlfriend or an insecure wife is that she needs your praise and appreciation to see herself in a positive light. So,

  • She will fish for compliments if she has put in the effort to dress up for an occasion
  • Pout and sulk if you fail to notice a new hair cut or style on her
  • May feel immensely hurt and lash out if you in any way insinuate that there are aspects of her personality she can work on

If you’re looking for signs of an insecure woman on social media, notice how much any negative comments affect her. If her day is completely ruined by an offhand comment, it might be because she’s very insecure.

5. Being critical of other women

To uplift herself, an insecure woman will negatively attack other women and perhaps even men. As unfair as it is to do that, note that insecure women don’t do this because they’re mean or rude. They only do it to feel better about themselves. Even so, these effects of insecurity on her personality can be extremely unpleasant to deal with.

If you’re wondering, “What does insecure mean for a girl?”, pay attention to how she reacts to the success or praise of other women. She may,

  • Point out their flaws
  • Act jealous
  • Tear them down
  • Make snide remarks

This is just a reflection of her low self-esteem. She is trying to feel better about herself by tearing others down. However, in reality, this tendency doesn’t do anything to break the cycle of her internal negative self-talk and thought patterns. If anything, it will make her bitter toward others. A bitter person cannot make for a pleasant partner. This is one of the many ways an insecure partner drains relationships.

6. Unable to accept her partner’s successes

One of the signs of insecurity in a woman that you will probably not miss is that she can never be genuinely happy or proud of her partner’s achievements and accomplishments. A partner who loves you should always be happy for you and take pride in your achievements. However, an insecure partner drains a relationship with their constant need to compare. She may view your accomplishments from the lens of her own inadequacies and either try to minimize them or respond so negatively that you’re left hurt and heartbroken by her reaction.

7. Sensitivity to body image triggers

When you are dealing with an insecure woman in a relationship, it’s likely that she struggles with body image issues. You have to be extremely cautious about how you comment on her body because even the most innocuous statements can set her off. A woman who is insecure about her looks will have a negative self-image.

She may struggle to make peace with her appearance and weight, and never feel confident in the way she carries herself. A tiny comment, remark, or indirect expression on her body might plummet her sense of self-worth and make her feel even more conscious about her body. She will constantly worry about how she looks and, more importantly, how people view her. She will need repetitive reminders to feel good enough.

infographic on insecure women
How an insecure woman behaves in relationships

8. Insecure women try to please everyone around them

One of the most important things to evaluate in this list of female insecurities is how these women respond to people around them. Even though they might dislike a person, they will go the extra mile to gain their approval. That’s because an insecure person often struggles with low self-esteem and needs validation from others to feel good about themselves.

Insecure meaning becomes amply clear when you begin to notice the extent to which she goes to please others, including you, even to the detriment of her own needs and desires, and therefore, her peace of mind. “This need for validation stems from their childhood. Even constantly asking her mother what she should wear can be a sign of insecurity later on in her life. There is no end to it. It gets worse as she grows up,” says Kavita.

9. An insecure woman can get extremely defensive

Insecure women always want to have the upper hand in an argument, and will not put an issue to rest until they feel like they have won. They always feel the need to be right and can get extremely defensive to any criticism. Arguing with an insecure partner drains relationships because they are fighting to win, not to find solutions to problems.

Instead of using arguments and differences of opinion as an opportunity to introspect and facilitate personal growth, they only worry about defending themselves and being considered right. They stop being receptive to the opposing rationale and will fight out their cause without correctly evaluating its merit. This can get exhausting for both partners and leave you lamenting, “I can see my spouse’s/my girlfriend’s insecurities ruining our relationship but can do nothing about it.”

10. She seeks attentions and thrives on it

One of the troubling effects of insecurity can be attention-seeking behavior. She would want the spotlight to always be on her and can go to great lengths to make it happen. From wearing loud outfits and makeup even if she’s not comfortable in it to behaving promiscuously, being abnormally loud, or bragging and exaggerating her accomplishments, she won’t hesitate to pull all stops to grab eyeballs.

“She might excessively mollycoddle and pamper others around her so that they come to depend heavily on her. However, this behavior is not healthy because it is not stemming from a place of love but a need for control. She needs to feel needed to have a sense of self-worth, and if not corrected in time, this tendency can give way to codependent patterns in the relationship,’’ Kavita points out. Putting up with these traits of an insecure woman in a relationship can get exhausting for her partner.

more on dealing with insecurity

11. Comparing herself to her partner’s exes

A woman insecure in a relationship might desperately want to outperform her partner’s ex. She’d be intent on proving that she is better than her partner’s previous partners. She may ask you a lot of questions about your ex but the intent is not to get to know you better and foster emotional intimacy. Instead, these conversations will almost always evoke negative feelings in her.

Even though it’s uncomfortable for her, she will not let this topic slide, but keep revisiting it, almost as if picking a scab of a wound. Then, she may use the information she has assimilated to outperform your ex/exes and prove to you that she’s the best partner you could have asked for. The goal, once again, is seeking praise, approval, and validation.

12. Playing the victim card

Insecure women find it very difficult to accept their mistakes or lapses in judgment. That’s why in addition to getting defensive, they also learn to play the victim card to perfection to wriggle out of situations where they feel backed into a corner. During arguments, she may resort to guilt-tripping, and make herself seem weaker, more feeble, and helpless to escape accountability for her actions. This is one of the prime dangers of dating an insecure woman because it gets in the way of a couple’s ability to resolve conflicts and concerns at hand.

Related Reading: 12 Warning Signs Of Gaslighting And 5 Ways To Deal With It

How To Deal With An Insecure Partner

If you can relate to these signs, you not only understand the insecure meaning in relationships but can be fairly certain that your partner struggles with it. Now, the question is, what can you do about it? There is no denying that a relationship with an insecure woman can get extremely exhausting and emotionally draining. If your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health and you want out, that’s a perfectly legitimate choice and you’re free to make it without guilt.

However, if you love her and want to make things work, you have your work cut out for you in figuring out how to deal with an insecure girlfriend/partner/spouse. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Create a safe space: Talk to her about her insecurities and make her feel safe in opening up to you. Often our negative thoughts and worries seem more daunting in our minds but vocalizing them can make them easier to tackle. So get her to open up about what she feels insecure about and why
  • Identify the root cause: Insecurity doesn’t just take hold out of thin air. There are always underlying issues triggering it. We’ve already talked about what causes insecurity in a woman — low self-esteem, past experiences, emotional trauma, childhood experiences, to name a few. Make an effort to help her identify where her feelings of insecurity are stemming from. Once again, healthy and honest communication is the key
  • Offer support: Do not shame her for her negative thoughts and insecurities. Instead, offer support. Let her know that you’re there to hold her hand through it if she’s willing to work through her issues and focus on self-improvement
  • Set boundaries: In trying to figure out how to deal with an insecure girlfriend or wife, do not ignore your own emotional and mental well-being. Set healthy relationship boundaries and enforce them consistently so that she understands what’s acceptable and what’s not
  • Encourage her to seek help: While you can support your insecure girlfriend/partner/spouse in battling the trauma of her past experiences and healing from it, you are neither equipped nor obligated to “fix” her. Only she can do it. And often resolving something so deep-seated requires professional help. Encourage her to get the help she needs

Key Pointers

  • Insecurity in a relationship can trigger a host of issues that can render even the strongest of bonds unhealthy, and even toxic
  • Feelings of insecurity are always triggered by underlying issues such as low self-esteem and self-confidence, past experiences, childhood experiences, and so on
  • From being clingy and jealous to displaying controlling behavior, needing constant validation, being defensive, an insecure partner can be too much to handle
  • You can help her work through these issues by being supportive, comforting, and encouraging her to seek help. But if the relationship gets too much to handle and you want out, know that, that too, is a perfectly legitimate choice

Now that you understand what makes a woman insecure in a relationship and how to deal with an insecure girlfriend or spouse, we hope you will be better equipped to navigate the challenges in your relationship. Where you want to go from here is a choice only you can make. Whether it is moving on from the relationship or fighting to build a healthier bond with the woman you love, remember to prioritize self-care and self-preservation.

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